Binta and Aïssatou testify thanks to the modelling of their vulva with the SEX-ED + project

Discover the testimonies of Binta and Aïssatou, participants in an innovative collaboration between SEX ED+ and CeMAVIE. The two women, each affected by female genital mutilation, share their first impressions after an intense experience: modelling their vulva. "Hello, would you like coffee or tea or would you like something to eat?" asks Cendrine, sexologist Vanderhoeven at CeMAViE, in a welcoming way. Women from Brussels and Wallonia arrive to take part in the vulva modelling project. Some come for the first time, others are loyal visitors. In the corridor, when ...

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CASTS OF VULVA’s, an instrument towards female empowerment

From across the Atlantic, independent researcher Magaly Pirotte of SEX-ED + visited GAMS Belgium for two days and made ten casts of vulvas of women who had undergone female genital mutilation as part of an exchange project funded by Wallonie-Bruxelles International-Québec. The Centre Médical d'Aide aux Victimes de l'Excision (CeMAViE) at CHU Saint Pierre, GAMS Belgium and SEX-ED + were able to work together to produce reproductions of external genitalia. The aim? To create an encyclopaedia and tools to better understand the realities of women affected by female genital ...

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The new president visits the Walloon branches

Two Wednesday mornings, two train journeys and Diariou Sow. Follow us on our visit with our new president, in Namur and in Liège, to meet the teams based in Wallonia. 9.45 am, 12 October 2022, Central Station, Diariou Sow boards the train for Namur. The new president of GAMS Belgium was keen to talk to our Walloon staff and to discuss the issue of welcoming women in our branches. Year after year, GAMS Belgium has continued to expand. Today, our team has three temporary offices in Flanders (Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven) and two permanent offices in Liège and Namur. On ...

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Working with cultural diversity for frontline workers at care centres after sexual violence in Belgium

GAMS Belgium was invited by IEFH (Institute for the Equality of Women and Men) on two training days on the 13th and the 18th of October for hospital staff at Care Centres after Sexual Violence across the country. As a national coordinator, the Institute is responsible for the launch and expansion of Care Centres after Sexual Violence in Belgium. It is in this capacity they organise training courses with all kinds of experts, to provide staff with a very necessary basis to perform their function, such as intercultural work with interpreters etc. Fabienne Richard and Jessica ...

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Discover our new prevalence study on FGM in Belgium

This concerns more than 35,000 girls and women in Belgium! Yesterday, our director, Fabienne Richard, a midwife with a PhD in Public Health, and Dominique Dubourg, a demographer at the Walloon Agency for Health, Welfare, Disability and Families (AVIQ) presented a new study on the prevalence of female genital mutilation in Belgium. The research was commissioned by Sarah Schlitz, Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, and Franck Vandenbroucke, Minister for Public Health. Here is a review of the figures and recommendations presented at the ...

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Retrospective of 20 years of international cooperation with Fabienne Richard – GAMS Belgium

The holidays are coming to an end. So at GAMS Belgium, we wanted to continue taking you on a journey through time and space. Let's start with this photo from our boxes which perfectly illustrates this article. It shows Fabienne Richard and Khadidiatou Diallo in Cairo, in 2009, at the general assembly of the Inter African Committee (CIAF). For some time now, our director and founder have been travelling the world aiming to abolish female genital mutilation. In Senegal, Guinea, Portugal and Canada, our association has participated in and contributed to several initiatives ...

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20 years of community work – an interview with Mariama Bah

You may have seen her on TV, heard her on the radio or read about her in the newspapers. This summer, we interviewed Mariama Bah. A committed woman concerned about female genital mutilation. Shw has been in charge of the Community Voices pool since January 2022. Her struggle, however, dates back much longer. Together, we will take stock of these first months of work at GAMS Belgium, the 10 years of the programme and we look back on part of her personal journey. What is your connection with GAMS Belgium? My history with GAMS Belgium is a long one. I first came to know ...

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Interview with Diariou Sow, GAMS’ new president

Diariou Seydi SOW is our new president since June 2022. A social worker by training, she knows GAMS well. In this interview, she tells us about each step of her journey leading her to succeed our former president and founder Khadidiatou Diallo. From beneficiary, to trainee, then peer educator and later member of the administrative body, Diariou is a long-time activist. Here is a piece of her story. How did you become president of GAMS? It was quite a journey. Before I came to Belgium, I already had an ideology matched the one of GAMS. I arrived in Belgium in ...

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Together, let’s make this trip a good memory!

A few weeks before the holidays, GAMS Belgium is launching its awareness campaign to prevent female genital mutilation when returning to the homeland as part of our associative project: the FGM collective, in partnership with AWSA-be, Oasis Belgium and the family planning center of Liège. Our common objective is to reach a maximum number of people affected by female genital mutilation. In this type of situation, a stay in your country of origin is full of mixed feelings: between the happiness of finding your family, of presenting your children born∙ in Belgium but ...

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My life behind the masks

On the occasion of the International Women's Rights Day, on 8 March, GAMS Belgium shares with you the result of its latest project: My life behind the masks. BACKGROUND The project "My life behind the masks" was born in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. We noticed an increase in anxiety and anguish among the women we were following. Isolated, the women housed in the centres told us that they were locked up with their violent husbands, with no possibility of interaction. As for the undocumented women, many of them were unable to continue their income-generating ...

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